Inside Real Studios: Enchanté Studio

Posted on July 25, 2015

Today we're peeking inside the studio of Shyrell Tamayo (Enchanté Studios):

Where, and in what kind of space is your studio located?
Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Commercial

Square footage

How long have you been there?
We opened our studio in January of 2014 exactly two years after I decided I would like to be a photographer.

What makes your studio special?
Unlike many studios in Dubai, ours is a natural light studio space and is marketed as a boutique studio. We focused with women's portraits so our space has a very feminine touch to it. We wanted our clients to feel at home and so even though it is situated in a commercial space it looks very much like a home. Unlike other commercial studios, we are are not placed on ground with foot traffic and can invite walk-in clients. We are 6 floors up and clients only really come to us by appointment. But I think what makes our studio special is pampering clients; it's in our code of business. We like to pamper from the first consult all the way to the final product viewing and delivery. We make sure we have our personal touches to everything we do.

How has it helped your business?
Having a studio has definitely set us apart from other photographers by showing that we mean business and clients know that when they approach us. Since having the studio, it has limited the number of people approaching us on little-to-no budget simply because clients know we have business expenses.

Having the studio has also definitely helped me deliver consistency in our images, which helped our studio to have identifiable signature style on our images. Being in Dubai also means shooting outside during the summer can prove very difficult. So I am relieved that I won't have to put my clients under the 45C (113F) degree heat for sessions.

Do you have any tips for opening a studio?
Start with the basics. As much as we want to start with a fully furnished amazing studio, there are better things you can put your money into, specially if you have limited budget. We started adding other furnishings or accessories as we take on more clients. The best things to spend money on in the studio are samples of product you would like to sell to your clients. Clients will buy what they see.

Interior aesthetic:
Have a clear idea of how you'd like your studio to look. It can be very tempting to buy cute little things or furnishings when you buy them individually, but sometimes they may not look great together. Having a cohesive look can make it a more appealing space to work in.

Be physically, emotionally and mentally prepared for it. Having a studio is a great achievement when you are a photographer but it can also be very challenging. This is a very big part of your investment so you will have to work hard to be able to keep it. There will be very many late working nights no matter how you try and organized the day. You will now have accounting, PR and marketing, maintenance, licensing works, maybe even staff management added on top of your shooting and editing.

When I opened the studio, I set my mind on not seeing the returns in the first two years and I am still at that stage. The third year coming is our make or break year (which so far is going in our favour). I do look forward to making it in this business!

What products do you sell the most?
We have included photo albums in almost all of our packages, so it's something that definitely sells most. However going forward our aim is to be able to place wall art in our clients homes.

Do you use Design Aglow products in your studio? If so, which product(s), and how have they helped your sales?
When I first launched my first website I used Design Aglow's web templates. I also bought forms, contracts and album templates to help me streamline my workflow in the studio. After failing to find high quality albums locally, I have decide it's time to have our albums done elsewhere and I'm very happy to look at what Design Aglow can offer. My recent purchases are building my samples for client albums and the Album Sales Kit Bundle. I am very excited to receive my first album sample!

Do you have a great space you would like to share with our community? We would love to hear from you and possibly peek into your world. Simply visit this link and we will guide you through the quick submission process.

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From Two Minute Photo Series to Fun, Custom Wall Art

Posted on July 24, 2015

Bethany of Bethany Sams Photography shares, "Several months ago, I did a little 2 minute series with my kids. I sat them in front of a blank wall and let them do whatever they wanted for just two minutes. It didn't matter to me if they smiled or made silly faces. I just wanted to get "them" for two minutes. I fell in love with the series because each picture is so uniquely them and I know I didn't have to beg them to smile or do anything to get those expressions, it's just who they are.

I've been using the Design Aglow Design Chemistry Collages mostly for online marketing or promotions but after recently ordering my first set of Design Aglow Frames for a client I knew they would be the perfect pairing for the 2 minute series of my kids. I love the clean lines and modern aesthetic of the collages as well as the frames. The two compliment one another perfectly and now I look forward to designing more of these collages for my clients. Thank you Design Aglow for your beautiful products!"

Thanks for sharing, Bethany! We love your approach and are so happy for your success. Enjoy your $75 shopping spree on us~

Have you created something awesome with Design Aglow products? Feel free to send us images here. If we feature it on the blog you’ll get a $75 shopping spree at Design Aglow!

Products featured:
Design Chemistry Collage Collection
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How Personal Photography Projects Can Make You a Better Professional

Posted on July 21, 2015

"You build your business shooting for other people. You build your career shooting for yourself." - Matthew Jordan Smith

There you sit, at your desk looking at your work and feeling all blah when you should be feeling excited. After all, you have the gear.  You have clients. You love what you do. But it’s just not enough. It’s starting to feel like the same thing every the time. You need more. However, your clients expect one thing: to go home with the kind of images you promised and showed off on your website. And sometimes, it’s just not enough. The passion is gone.

So what can you do to reignite that creative fire? One answer is simple: start a personal photography project.

Personal art projects have been beloved by artists for ages. They are super affordable, highly flexible, and allow you to stretch your wings where your paid work may not. Best of all, they can breathe new life into your business and even make you a better professional. Feeling inspired? Read on!

The top 5 reasons for starting your own personal photography project:
  • Ensure you always have something to shoot. It doesn’t matter what you’re photographing…just get out there and shoot!  Nothing hurts your creativity more than being stagnant. So get out there and start exploring (with camera or phone in hand) and your new project may likely reveal itself. As Maya Angelou said, “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”
  • Help build your portfolio. You never know how your clients will find you, and having a personal photography project that you are doing just for you might open doors to both new adventures and new clients. And since the only one you really have to please is yourself, you eliminate 100% of the stress shooting for work brings. If/when you fall in love with your personal project, consider showing it off to the world via a section on your website, an art opening at your studio or home, or even a display at a local business or community show.
  • It can help you network and engage with the photography community. You’ll never meet anyone just sitting at home on the sofa, so having a personal photography project lets you get outside and start conversations. Are you an introvert?  Personal photography projects are great because they allow you the time you need to recharge since you’ll be focused inward rather than outward. Additionally, they’ll also help you break the ice and give you a talking point. An extrovert? Great!  You’ll be able to rejuvenate by getting out there and connecting with your people!
  • Experiment outside of your comfort zone. There’s no better way to stretch your limits and creativity than by taking a chance.  Personal projects let you do that. Challenge yourself. Need to work on shooting in low light? Then build a personal project around that.  Want to experiment with street photography? Create a personal project that takes you to the street. The possibilities are endless.
  • Explore your authentic self. When shooting for yourself, you don’t have to worry about what a client wants or needs. You don’t have to worry about making the sale. And when you take all that pressure off, you certainly feel freer, lighter, happier.  And, as a by-product, you just might find yourself smack dab in the middle of a new passion.

The moral of the story is that personal photography projects help you think about things in a new way, especially if you’ve pigeon-holed yourself into shooting for a market that feels stiff and repetitive. We know that sometimes searching for your own project may feel as daunting as looking for the perfect bathing suit. But it doesn’t have to be. To get you started on your new journey, here are some popular ideas we love. Pick one (or come up with your own) and start breaking free from your daily grind!

  • Day in the life
  • One lens
  • Self portraits
  • 100 strangers
  • A photo a day/week
  • Macro photography
  • Single object
  • From the hip
  • Through the seasons
  • Food
  • Film
  • Underwater
  • Mobile photography (check out our helpful guide here)
  • Color/Black & White
  • The human form
  • Landscape
  • Mirrors
  • Tilt-shift/Free lens
  • Animals

As you can see, the sky’s the limit. All you need is to look around you to be inspired. Think about your hobbies, your community, the books and magazines you read, the people you admire, the skills you want to learn, your values, your emotions – and you’ll find tons of ideas for personal projects.

And once you have your ideas, you can decide if and how you will share the results. No one says you have to share anything; it’s perfectly OK to keep it all to yourself. But should you want to share the fruits of your passion, there are many avenues.

  • Blog posts are some of the easiest ways to share your personal projects. People love stories, so tell the story of your personal project journey.
  • Sell them to stock photography sites or as fine art prints. Who knows, your personal project could give you additional revenue.
  • Create a photo book and showcase the images in your own coffee-table book which you can either sell or keep for bragging rights.
  • Share them on your website as a “personal projects” feature.

Just remember, no matter how your personal project unfolds, it’s important to start – somewhere…anywhere. And when you complete your project, reward yourself. And, remember to get a selection your favorite images on the wall.

*Images by Lena Hyde, shown in Design Aglow Frames (Bella: Black)

Looking for more inspiration? Sign up for the Design Aglow Newsletter to receive an instant download of our Success Guide for Mobile Photography.

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Learn to Love Mobile Photography – A Guide to Using Your Phone’s Camera as a Creative Outlet

Posted on July 15, 2015

mobile photography success guide

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” - Wayne Gretzky

You’ve probably invested a lot of money in your big workhorse camera. And you’re in love with the images you can create with it. And your clients adore their images. But sometimes, it just feels like you need a break from it. Maybe you feel like you are falling into a rut with your paid work. You’re taking the same types of shots over and over. Or you’re heading out to the beach with your family and just don’t want to lug your big camera and heavy lenses around with you. However, before you sigh deeply and resign yourself to bringing your pro gear bag to the beach, remember that you have a camera that’s light and is always with you. It just happens to come with a phone attached.

Design Aglow’s newest Success Guide will help you tap into your creative spirit enabling it to soar while at the same time providing you with a way to nourish your photographic skills and abilities in fresh new ways.

If you’re ready to reconnect with your own narrative journey that is unfolding before you by chronicling the beautiful, authentic moments of your own life, your art, and the world around you, this guide will help reawaken your creativity and passion for photography once again.

Mobile Photography Success Guide at a glance:
• 58 page PDF to start inspiring you to use your smart phone (or tablet) to tell your unique story and exercise your creative juices
• Tips, tricks, and reminders for using mobile photography for personal projects as well as to enhance your studio photography
• A section on using your phone to capture mobile videography
• 27 features with the best and brightest mobile photographers today

Get it for $15 right now, or for FREE when you sign up for our mailing list!

*Special thanks to Ben Sasso for the lovely images displayed throughout the guide!

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Unique, Custom Packaging To Set Your Studio Apart

Posted on July 15, 2015

Creating a fully branded and cohesive look across your marketing and packaging materials is easier than ever with Design Aglow templates and Design Aglow Paper Shop.

Alison of Alison Epps Photography shares, "I am in the process of giving my business the biggest boost yet, and boy is it FUN! I took a little sabbatical when I was pregnant with my daughter so when I came back I came back swinging full force. I had my logo and blog redone professionally and then actually started caring about my branding. Word of mouth is obviously the greatest tool for generating business so I wanted to give my previous and future clients MORE!! I wanted something that would show how much I appreciated each one of them. Making the effort to have custom engraved USB Drives and embossed USB Boxes and Welcome Folders did just that!!

This is the icing on the cake if you will. It reflects my photography business model in that it is above and beyond what is to be expected. It is clean and so so pretty!

Clients love them! I believe all my newly generated business has my recent revamp to thank and I am so excited to order more products that reflect my goal!"

Thanks for sharing, Alison! We love your approach and are so happy for your success. Enjoy your $75 shopping spree on us~

Have you created something awesome with Design Aglow products? Feel free to send us images here. If we feature it on the blog you’ll get a $75 shopping spree at Design Aglow!

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